I know I’ve said it before but I’m going to say it again, Dollar Tree is a homeschooler’s friend. Our latest Dollar Tree find was a foam puzzle with the letters A -Z and numbers 0-9. It has been pretty easy to adapt this puzzle to practice fine motor, literacy, math, and even life skills. Here are 5 ways we’ve enjoyed using our $1 find:
Learning your phone number. The age in which children should learn this varies. Some 4 year olds can grasp the concept of a phone number, some 6 year olds still struggle with it. Whenever your child seems ready, you should teach them their number (or in our case, mom and dad’s cell phone numbers). Knowing their phone number is especially useful if they ever become lost or separated from you.
Counting. LittleMan is solid on 1-100 but SunnyGirl is just now learning to count to 10. We jazzed up this activity by burying the numbers and some glass gem counters in a small bin of rice for her to dig through.
Spelling/sounding out simple words. Lay out the puzzle pieces of the word along with some props and help your child make each letter sound as they put the letters together. Here we used the word “shark” with our Safari LTD Shark TOOB, but you could do the same activity with toy cats, dogs, bears, fish, cars, etc..
Hide and seek CVC word puzzles. Lay out the puzzle pieces of a simple cvc word then hide the letters on the tray, encourage the child to find the letters and sound out the words together. I took it a step further by hiding the letters in the object which they spell. For example, B-O-X hidden in a box, C-U-P hidden under cups, H-A-T hidden under party hats. You could just as easily do the same activity hiding C-A-T inside of a winter glove.
Last but not least, the thickness of the foam lends itself to being an excellent building material for 3D creations such as houses for action figures and 6-sided blocks for towers. You could even use it to make dice for a homemade board game.